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Today the WA House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 5956 with a 95-to-3 vote. It cleared the Senate on February 18th 47-to-0. This bill will legalize the possession and use of SBRs (short barreled rifles) for residents of Washington State. All NFA regulations still apply, of course, meaning you’ll have to pony up that $200 tax payment and your SBR must be registered with the BATFE.

The Governor is expected to sign it into law. Apparently, unless otherwise stated, a WA law goes into effect 90 days after the close of the legislative session (closes March 13). The full text of the bill — all one real page of it — can be found here. Hmmm… just in time now that I’ve already built my faux SBR? Video of final hearing after the jump…

I guess I’ll be filling out a Form 1 pretty soon!


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  1. Hey, the only thing that would make your shortie cooler anyway was a nice stock. This problem solved itself!

    Now how do I get a stamp for my AR pistol in order to put a stock on it?

    • Engrave it with your name (or trust), fill out a form 1, send the form 1 with a $200 check to the ATF… AND WAIT FOR ALL OF ETERNITY TO PASS!

  3. Considering that those of us from (relatively) rational, Constitution-respecting Eastern Washington are overwhelmed by those from the Kool-Aid-drinking swamp side of the state, I had to read this half a dozen times to believe it.

    Sure, it only dumps the legalities to the and doesn’t necessarily support the 2A, but this sounds great considering where this is coming from. But considering the huge margin, this sounds too good to be true. Did I miss anything? Did I not completely comprehend the legalese? Not to look at the gift horse in the mouth, but my paranoia is raising its ugly head.

    Someone please tell me that this is indeed good news. I’m hoping that my current residency (CO) is not a lost cause.

    • It’s good. The bill is very short. It simply amends the language of the current WA law that bans machine guns, short barreled rifles, and short barreled shotguns by stating that SBRs are not illegal if they are registered according to Federal requirements.

      • I appreciate your reminding us of this. Sometimes it’s tough leaning left and being a part of the gun world. I have to look at gun control issues as non-partisan. You don’t automatically adopt a specific set of tenets because you lean left or generally vote D. It’s an issue they try to piggyback onto a “partisansship” for lack of better word, like the ever devious process of piggybacking irrelevant, party/special interest issues onto important bills in order to get them passed surreptitiously, or making one look like a fool if they vote it down. Anyhow, I am very much anti-gun control, a gun owner and carrier, and I may be a little more hardcore than plenty of “right wingers” on the issue, whereas I am what you might call, “very leftist” in much of my thinking and views. I appreciate our “looser” restrictions in WA, and think that in conjunction with our very low gun violence, it goes to show that heavy gun control and magazine restriction laws, etc., have no true correlation to increased violence. Chicago is a gun violence nightmare, and have some of the most restrictive gun laws. Anyhow, I have many friends and know or have met many more like minded individuals, who are very much leftists, and very much proponents of our 2nd amendment rights, and very much opposed to heavy gun control legislation and the scapegoating that comes along with it. Believe it or not guys, there are a lot of us out here who see things the same way on gun issues, yet lean more to the left.

  4. Unfortunately it doesn’t go into effect immediately. In Washington State, laws go into effect 90 days after the adjournment of the legislative session, which is March 13th.

  5. Great. I recently moved from Seattle to Maryland without knowing what I got into. Figures.

    • The inveterate geek in me wants to immediately run out and build the Stargate gun, i.e. the P90, by taking a PS90 and getting the barrel shortened.

        • I shot a law enforcement agency owned full auto P90, and I swear that’s about the best (assault weapon type) gun I have ever shot. Has a 50 rnd mag, barely any recoil, squeeze the trigger half-way and it’s semi, pull it all the way in and it’s full-auto. I forget what the built in optics are.. I think 2x or 3x. I’m sure the semi version is pretty fun too.

        • The standard optics on a P90 is a fiber/tritium-illuminated reflex sight, so it’s 1x. It doesn’t really make much sense to mount magnifying optics on a PDW.

    • I agree that I’d go with a suppressor if I could only choose one, or if I had to do one first and then save up and wait a while for the next thing I’d also do the can first.

  6. Proponents missed opportunities to say the SBR version of a standard AR15 is measurably LESS lethal due to the lower velocities.

    That sounded like a pretty friendly audience. Was waiting for a question of WHY do people want a SBR. Would have been interested in the prepared answer.

    • The big advantage to a short-barreled rifle is easier maneuverability in tight spaces. An AR15 with a 16″ barrel is going to be close to 2 1/2 feet long. Even a bullpup like the Tavor is around 26″ long. if you live in a small house and want a home defense weapon that’s easier to handle than a pistol and more accurate than a scattergun, an SBR is your ticket.

    • Halfway there on NFA items, though. Suppressors and SBRs are good, gotta get SBSs and full-autos over the line.

    • Yeah.. I was all atwitter (lol) when I thought this might include shotguns. Not that I would have whipped out a hacksaw but it would have been righteous. Then I read the law and only the rifle part of the law is stricken.

  7. Awesome. This means if I ever have to PCS to ft. Lewis I can bring my SBRs… Good news indeed.

  8. It only took 3 years. Both SBR bill prime sponsors were Democrats as was the
    Speaker of the House who pulled the bill from the Judiciary to the floor.

    We had much more important things to say than trying to convince anyone that an AR-15 with a 15 inch barrel is less powerful than one with a 16 inch barrel. We did go into detail at the hearings why we wanted SBR’s.

    SBS should be next.

    • Thank you Randy!
      I know you have put a lot of time and effort into educating our elected officials in understanding that only us law-abiding taxpaying citizens would helped by this.
      My hat is off to you Sir!

  9. So does this mean there will be any interesting rifles I can now think about getting, or is it just ARs?

    • What do you like? A rifle is a rifle, and if you’re interested in a short-barreled version, you’ll be able to own it legally.

      • Carlos, the P-90 is a sweetheart to shoot.
        50 round mags.
        A box of ammo is still 20-25 bucks a box of 50, and reloading stuff is finally out.

        • I’m really pumped about it. It’s very likely my first SBR. I’ve shot the PS90, but I’m sure it handles much better in the intended configuration.

    • The real plus side to an AR platform is how easily you can swap uppers. By registering the lower receiver as the SBR, you could swap all sorts of uppers onto it. Any length barrel 9mm, .300 BLK, .223, whatever… If you do a firearm with a single, registered receiver like a 10/22 or an M14 or a bolt gun or something then it’s pretty much fixed as-is since you can’t just swap out barrels and such. The modularity of the AR platform is huge here.

  10. Basically an SBR is any rifle with a barrel less than 16 inches or less than 26 inches overall length. The federal and state definitions go into a bit more detail. BATFE authorization to make or buy an SBR is a routine matter and never denied to anyone who fills out the application properly.

  11. I don’t own an SBR, nor want one. Nor do I live in Washington State. But I”m glad to hear this news and I’m happy for the people who do live there and do want one. Soon they’ll be able to have one.

    • I do intend to register an AR lower as an SBR when I’m able. Then I’ll just put the same upper on that new lower. I wouldn’t change anything about the upper. Honestly, the SB15 isn’t really lacking in the stock department in very many ways — mainly just ease of adjustability. I can move it in and out by like 3″ either direction but it takes a little wiggling and some muscle. Functionally it’s actually pretty freakin’ good…

      • Nice.
        I didn’t think of that. Register a multi lower then put anything you want on top.
        Another project!

        • This will be the incentive I need to build a .300 BLK upper of some sort. Barrel length between 8″ and 10″ I’d say. That and the 9mm one and I’m probably cool. Maybe chop an existing 5.56 upper down to something a little bit shorter (than 16″) but not much shorter.

  12. What was the politics behind this bill? Any beneficiaries besides regular folks who like guns? The voting margins seem downright unreal.

  13. I like camp carbines, and sometimes I think about SBR-ing my Uzi. But that would ruin it for resale, and a camp carbine in other than a pistol caliber does not turn me on. I just don’t have an application for one.

  14. This is very good news, I just moved to Wa last year in October from Commiefornia, and I have so many options to convert, but I think for my first Stamp im going to do my Kriss Vector;)

    • Wow!! Amazing, i just filed three form 1’s, my Kriss Vector, which is the first gun i said that i was going to file, a AR15 and my glock 17! I’m stoked, i Love Wa state!! I e-filed 9/25/2015, so lets see how long it takes to get approved:)

  15. Well now I’m really really hoping this interview goes well and I can finally leave MD and join WA.

  16. This is, indeed, good to hear.
    I’m in the process of relocating from AZ to WA and was a little concerned about what I was going to do with the SBR’s (they are like flies around here, All the cool kids have some)

    Re: Multi lower: ATF currently likes specific calibers listed on the Form 1, but you can put as many as will fit.

    BTW: 5.56 super shorties aren’t all that much fun, used mine a couple times and switched to 300 BO, tremendous overpressure, blinding flash, and blazing lava like substance that comes out the ejection port setting your sleeve on fire are exciting but not all that effective (though they are great for making irritating people move away from you at the range)

    Looking forward to the move

  17. OH MY GOD! I’ve been waiting for this to pass for SO LONG!!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. So excited! What a great direction for WA. Plus my 10″ pistol upper now gets to be used the right way!

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